Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Jindal in ambitious plan to open coal mine in Botswana

Jindal, the Indian titanic miner sounded warning bells to the market about its plans to develop a mine in Mmaphashalala area which is in the heartland of Mmabula coalfield to power both domestic and international demands.

The oriental outfit is also involved in myraids of local and regional programmes including the development of the mine, building of 300 MW power plant at the sites—that will be connected to Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) grid—and acquisition of railway line to Nakala seaport in Mozambique.

“We have a mining licence and the current government is planning to put up a railway line to Mmamabula,” Neeraj Saxena head of Jindal Botswana said in an exclusive interview.

“On the ground the engineering work has started, “  the man who runs out  his top range battery iphone twice a day added.

In late November the BPC awarded the company a tender to build a power station in Mmaphasalala and its mining activity is expected to yield 4.5 million tonnes of coal.

Botswana has over 2 billion tonnes of coal resource that can be exploited for the development of the country as the British did around the 18th Century to kick-start the first Industrial revolution with the introduction of the first coal powered locomotive.

“The contract (is) for the design, finance, construction, ownership, operation, maintenance and decommissioning at the end of its economic life … of a 300MW net greenfield coal-fired power plant in Botswana as an Independent Power Producer,” the notice from the BPC read.

The project is expected to cost P 13 billion at its completion. The company has an impressive war chest of P 234 billion. Botswana will have three colliery mines; Morupole, Masama coalfield near Lentsweletau and Mmaphashalala.

“We are writing a book and we are still at the first page and the first paragraph,” said his ivy league lawyer, Rizwan Desai, who used to be the chairman of Botswana Stock Exchange as he tries to be economic with details regarding the deal.

Jandal has been bullish on the project and it bought a railway line between Zimbabwe and Nakala seaport of Mozambique- to be exclusively used by them. The railway line is intended for the export of coal to the international markets which also includes the 1.3 billion people of the Indian market.

“The quality of Botswana coal is very good. We are going to develop it for both domestic and the export market,” Saxena said.

He said there is pent up demand of Botswana coal in neighbouring South Africa.

To improve the quality of its coal for export market Jindal is planning to have a coal washing plant to reduce the Sulphur in its product. The development comes at a time when the western world is clamouring for the ban of fossil energy but they backtracked after the geo-politics between Ukraine and Russia disrupted energy supply chain in the middle of a blistering winter.


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